Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Alexander Jordan gives a working paper on "The Legacy of “Centre” Hegelianism in German Thought, c. 1830 - 1880"

Following the death of Hegel (1770-1831), his followers split into factions. The "Left" has attracted huge attention, due to the assumption that Hegelianism led inevitably to "Left" Hegelianism, and "Left" Hegelianism to Marxism. In contrast, there is very little on the "Centre". This is remarkable, given that the "Left" soon collapsed, whereas the "Centre" continued to exist as a coherent movement for decades. Unlike the revolutionary "Left", the "Centre" Hegelians remained optimistic about Prussia becoming what Hegel called a "Vernunftstaat" (rational state), led by an enlightened civil service, dedicated to the public good. Thus, the "Left" Hegelian emphasis on negativity, critique, and revolution (culminating in Marxism) was not the only possible outcome of Hegel's thought. The current paper offers an initial outline of the project, including a few hypotheses and points for discussion.

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